Willing To Be A Broom

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
“What woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house diligently till she find it?" Luke 15:88Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (Luke 15:8).
We were asked at a Bible reading what the broom means in this parable. But, as this useful instrument is not mentioned in the verse, I had not given it much thought. However, as it is evident that the woman must use a broom to sweep with, the inquiry was not out of place.
Doubtless the "woman" here refers to the Holy Spirit, and the "house" to the house of Israel. God has lighted "a candle" in sending His Son into the world (cf. John 1:99That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:9)), and the Spirit of grace in Christ was seeking the "lost sheep" amid the rubbish and filth of Judaism (cf. Matt. 15:2424But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:24)).
The Son of God has returned to heaven, and sent down the Holy Spirit to continue the work of grace until He return. The sphere of activity has widened out to the whole world, and the Divine Worker needs many brooms. This suggests Rom. 10:1414How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14); "How shall they hear without a preacher?" And if the broom is a convenient instrument for the housewife to sweep with, so the Holy Spirit uses instruments wherewith to draw out from their hiding-places the precious souls buried in sins, and iniquity, the price of whose redemption, as the "silver" here suggests, was "The precious blood of Christ" (cf. 1 Peter 1:18,1918Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:18‑19)).
Are you willing then, to be a broom,-to be worn out in such lowly service as He requires? A broom, you know, must be well made, and fitted to the hand of the user, and thus ready for use when wanted. The thrifty housewife pays the price for one, and consecrates it to her service. So we have been "bought with a price"; and God has "created us in Christ Jesus unto good works" (Eph. 2:1010For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)). And we are told in Rom. 6:1313Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:13), to yield ourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and our "members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
It does not suit the natural pride of our hearts to be assigned to so lowly a place as a broom, but this shows how we unfit ourselves for effective service by allowing high thoughts. You might like the fame of Paul, but are you willing to suffer in like manner, and then be defamed and "made as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things?" (1 Cor. 4:1313Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. (1 Corinthians 4:13)).
In our text the "one piece of silver" is emphasized, showing how God values one lost soul. God feels His loss, and is willing to pay the cost of its redemption. It is not hard to read John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) into the context. The lighted candle is now the Word of God with which we are illumined. The diligent seeking and sweeping sets forth the perseverance of divine love-"till she find it." But the humble instrument used in this loving search is not mentioned.
Are you willing to give up reputation (cf. Phil. 2:5, 75Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5)
7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (Philippians 2:7)
), and "present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God", as His servant? Saith the self-emptied apostle, "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers (servants) by whom ye believed?" 1 Cor. 3:55Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (1 Corinthians 3:5).
Are you willing then, in fellowship with the love of God, to be a broom: to be jammed into the filthy corners of the earth, through scorching heat or piercing cold; to be crushed and bruised; to die, if need be, in order that the grace of God may be carried into the haunts of sin, and to the precious souls for whom God gave His Son; that His heart may be filled with joy over one repenting sinner?
Are you willing for Jesus' sake to be a nameless broom?